New Year in Watford Workhouse




From the Hertfordshire Illustrated Review, February 1893 (page 120)

WATFORD possesses many warm­hearted sympathisers with the local poor. One of many indications of this was supplied by the large and influential company who assembled at the Watford Union Workhouse on the 17th ult., the occasion of the New Year's Treat to the inmates. Those who gave proof of their kindly interest in this laudable endeavour to brighten lives that are necessarily spent in the presence of very dismal surroundings, were the Rev. C. W. Neild (Chairman of the Board of Guardians) and Mrs. Neild, the Hon. Albertine Grosvenor, Mr. E. Henry Loyd and the Hon. Mrs. Loyd, Mr. W. R. Woolrych and Mrs. Woolrych, Mr. F. Sunmer Knyvett, Mr. W. T. Coles, the Rev. S. Buller, Mr. E. Ellis and Miss Ellis, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson (Bushey), Mr. C. A. Harris and Miss Harris, the Rev. H. Goodwin, Mr. and Miss Daw, Mr. Cullev, Mrs. and Miss Coles, the Misses Hill; Miss Neele, Mr. Wilbee, Mr. Clifford, etc. A familiar friend of the Watford poor, Mr. Noakes,  who had presided over similar gatherings during many previous years, was prevented being present owing to a slight accident. A very prominent part of the proceedings consisted of the distribution of prizes and toys to the children, the presentations being gracefully performed by the Hon. Miss Albertine Grovenor. Lord Ebury would have been present had his health permitted him. We are glad to note that the Watford Guardians adopt the system of sending the workhouse children out to school instead of educating them within a pauper school. The old people in the Watford workhouse are well looked after, and it is cheerful to know that the lives of the aged amongst the indigent are brightened by inexpensive luxuries, including tobacco for the men. It is a pleasure to repeat and to emphasize the sentiment expressed by the Chairman of the Board, that the lives of those who go to the Union house, through no fault of their own, should be made as pleasant and as little irksome as possible. In the case of able-bodied and lazy rogues, of course no clemency should be allowed. Unquestionably, strict classification is needed to deal wisely with the indigent poor.

See Also Watford Union and Watford pages.

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